The Indian conglomerate Punj Lloyd and its JV Partner, Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) inaugurated last week India’s first private sector small arms manufacturing plant at Malanpur in Madhya Pradesh. The joint venture company, Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems (PLR) will be manufacturing small arms for the Indian Defense Forces as well as for export.
Punj Lloyd Chairman, Atul Punj, said, "This is the first opportunity for the country to get its own ‘Made in India’ Small Arms. The need of the hour is to replace the country’s defense weapons with sophisticated and high precision products and Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems is the answer to the country’s immediate need." Further Mr. Punj said, "These are tried and tested battle-proven products already being used within the country. It is the first time in India that we are coming together with the complete technology to manufacture these products as 'Made in India.'"
Present on the occasion, Michel Ben-Baruch, Head of SIBAT, Israel Ministry of Defense, said, "Israel's Ministry of Defense fully and wholeheartedly supports this cooperation and will continue to support the transfer of technology and information also in the future, for the betterment of improved advanced tools. Israel and India consider their defense industry cooperation as a monumental step forward, towards a future of immense potential."
H.E. Daniel Carmon, Israel’s Ambassador to India, said, "Now celebrating 25 years, India and Israel’s growing partnership is multifaceted and ever expanding. The relationship is built on the strengths of each country, contributing to the security and prosperity of both peoples. I applaud the establishment of joint ventures, such as between Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapons Industries, taking up Israeli President Rivlin’s call for Israel to 'Make in India, Make with India.' I hope to see many more such joint endeavors ranging from security to food security, water to cyber, start-up to space."